The more I practice the less I need to galvanise my attention to the deep sensations that accompany the breath. There is so much glorious raw sensation to experience in just one single inhale and one single exhale that its sometimes overwhelming. We must be prepared to slow down and commit to listening, and be given the opportunity and encouragement to do so by our teachers.
I notice my increasing frustrations with the increasing number of students and teachers who jump around from style to style and class to class, picking up poses, techniques and sequences that they ‘like’, but never committing beyond any inevitable discomfort or friction that arises.
Yoga is in danger of becoming a service industry where the customer demands satisfaction (i.e. feeling good or being sufficiently entertained/distracted). As a studio owner I am acutely aware of yoga as a business and the demands that studio rents and bills place on getting and keeping students in classes, which is why I feel the need for my role as a teacher to be constantly tested and redefined. Ultimately sustainability grows from deep and committed relationship between a student and a practice, teacher and community. Without these cornerstones yoga practice is confused, fragmented and never likely to get ‘behind the curtain’ of samsara (conditioned existence or unprocessed trauma).
The path to self-liberation requires enormous bravery and trust. Most of us can’t get close to the internal resources required to sustain this without the support of a solid daily practice, an experienced teacher and a supportive community to share our struggles with. As teachers this is what we must encourage our students to commit to, whilst constantly reassessing our own investment into the relationship with open and fresh eyes. It is so easy to become seduced by the short term agenda of our egos when the practice doesn’t go deeply enough.
Slow down, uncouple your senses from the sense objects and let the rest unfold from there. Notice the story you’re telling yourself about even the smallest part of your life, including and perhaps particularly about ‘your yoga’.
Your breath is medicine. Let it heal you from the inside.